- Perfect Paperback: 226 pages
- Publisher: Courtney Literary (April 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985564385
- ISBN-13: 978-0985564384
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,261,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Long Live the Suicide King Perfect Paperback – April 3, 2014
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
In Ritchey s (The Never Prayer, 2012) powerful YA novel, a teenage boy flirts with death as he struggles to find meaning in life. Jim Dillenger JD to his friends lives an unremarkable upper-middle-class life in suburban Denver. He s a gifted student, but he spends most of his time getting high with his apathetic group of friends. His parents crumbling marriage and the recent death of his grandfather have left him bitter and ready to end it all. He s not great at keeping his suicidal aspirations a secret, and soon, the entire high school is betting on whether or not he ll kill himself. It s a powerful take on an all-too-relatable subject for teenage readers. JD is a typical snarky adolescent he describes the school counselor as spelunking down into middle-age and he s unsatisfied by what he perceives as his mundane existence. He floats through life, lacking real connection to the people around him, until he finally meets an unlikely group of friends who try and pull him out of his malaise. This ragtag bunch includes an octogenarian neighbor with keen insight, a drug-dealing dropout with higher aspirations, and a pair of Christian girls whose beliefs are, at first, highly offensive to the staunchly agnostic Jim. These richly drawn, beautifully complex characters, and the relationships they forge with JD, form the novel s backbone. The first-person prose is acerbic, witty and at times achingly poignant. The novel deftly handles issues of religion, balancing JD s cutting appraisals of what he perceives as hypocrisy with gentler voices that display the power of spirituality without seeming sanctimonious. Although JD s musings are at times whiny and self-indulgent, he s a relatable character throughout flawed but trying to find purpose. His keen perceptions of others and their motives, coupled with his sensitivity toward underdogs, make him a character to root for. Overall, the subject matter may make this a dark read for younger teens, but it s a story to which many will connect and in which they may ultimately find hope. A compelling tale of teenage depression handled with humor and sensitivity. --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of The Never Prayer and Long Live the Suicide King, both finalists in various contests. His latest novel is Elizabeth’s Midnight. In shorter fiction, his G.I. Joe inspired novella was an Amazon bestseller in Kindle Worlds and his steampunk story, “The Dirges of Percival Lewand” was part of The Best of Penny Dread Tales anthology published through Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two ancient goddesses of chaos posing as his daughters. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I was a little worried by the depression and angst, but it was real. I wanted to believe that Jim's parents would have behaved differently, but unfortunately, they are also real. Ritchey handles a difficult topic with tact, not over the top, not preachy, not in your face, but in the best way, the way that made me think about the subject matter well after the last page was read. Those are the best books, the ones that do more than entertain, they enlighten. When you're looking at all of your reading choices and wondering if this one is worth your time, it is. No Doubt About It!
This is the story of JD. Through this first person point of view, we get a glimpse into the life of Jim and a taste of what life looking up from the bottom feels like. Jim’s grandfather was the man he looked up too, the man who parented him when his own parental figures couldn’t or wouldn’t be around. Then he died, but not before a decline into dementia and ultimately a very un-heroic death.
In the middle of a drug-fueled clarity JD realizes that he’s not a very nice person. He’s grown cold and mean, even standing by while he nearly watches his friends do something reprehensible.
Jim doesn’t want to die like his grandfather did, he doesn’t want to be a bad person anymore, and he doesn’t want to live without purpose. He simply doesn’t want to live.
This book is Jim’s road to redemption so to speak; his path toward finding something to live for. He does it sober, without a bottle of something, smoking something, or taking anything might draw him back to the dark side and give him reason to change his mind.
Life however seems to have it’s own intricacies that make him pause—whether it be, from his elderly neighbor, the god fearing good girl, the jock, his own counselor, or the friendships found in the unlikeliest places.
This book is filled with dry adolescent wit and as always Ritchey does an excellent job at story telling. This book deals with a number of not so light topics and each are handled with the grace of a Suicide King.
Your story is not finished yet. This is a dauntless book navigating a tough topic with guts and grace that shouldn’t be missed.
For those worried the book might be too depressing - I’ll say that while the book does not treat suicide as a joke, Ritchey artfully layers humor with the expected feeling of deep depression.
One of my favorite aspects of Ritchey’s books is that I never know what’s going to happen in the end. As a storyteller myself, I tend to have an idea of how a story will end, but I’m never sure with his books. It’s so refreshing, and the mystery compels me to keep reading.
I was immediately sucked into the story and finished it in only two sittings! The writing has an intoxicating energy that kept me reading. I enjoy how the author intermixes foreign words into his book. It adds a great atmosphere.
Highly recommend - and I think it’s a great book for teens. There are useful discussion points in the back of the book. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.
A novel about suicide should be a bleak read but instead Long Live the Suicide King shines. The characters are funny and full of life, the situations are as real as today’s headlines, and the pages fly by because of the constant fear that this wonderful human being will complete his plans and kill himself. The pace doesn’t let up until the heartwrenching finale. Most importantly, I feel like I caught a glimpse into the difficulties facing today’s teenagers and how important their issues are. This is a great book. Everyone needs to read it.